Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bearing Down

A great portion of my life lately has revolved around my adventures in the city of Chicago, so I apologize in advance if I seem regionally biased today:

As a Bears fan, this Sunday's matchup against the Packers is just icing on the cake. Considering what a divisive rivalry Chicago and Green Bay have, it's a marvel to think we've only met in the NFL playoffs once before, nearly 70 years ago. It goes without saying that this is the most meaningful Monsters/Cheddarheads showdown of my lifetime. I still worry about "good Cutler" and "bad Cutler," but the fact that we've made it this far is either a testament to our defense and special teams or how underwhelming the NFC was this year. Either way, I'm quite placated.

When you think about it, the Chicago sports teams in their current incarnation are a lot like the original cast of "M*A*S*H." The Blackhawks are Hawkeye (natch), the Bears are Trapper, the Bulls are Col. Blake, the Cubs and White Sox are Ferret Face and Hot Lips --you know, the comic relief-- and the Sky is Radar. Each team possesses traces of that character's quirks: the Hawks are boozy and freewheeling, Da Bears are bumbling but affable, the Cubs are borderline incompetent and constantly blaming others for their shortcomings, and the Pale Hose are shrill and overly defensive. I vaguely remember Trapper wearing a basketball jersey in one episode, and if you can make a decent Radar/Sky analogy, let me know.

Meanwhile, two weeks ago I started Writing 3 at IO. After taking on late night monologue jokes and sketch comedy, the focus has shifted to perfecting a spec script. My weekly "homework" is slightly weightier and time-consuming --hence this short entry-- but I'm still enjoying the challenge the class provides. My original idea for an episode of "American Dad!" didn't seem to impress my colleagues, but now I'm running with something I'm far more satisfied with. Concurrently, I'm in improv Level 4B across the hallway, where we're finally approaching performance level. By my best estimate, my class will be performing sometime in late February. In the meantime, I'm still jamming for 12-15 minutes every late Saturday night as Lyndsay Hailey's opening act. For you locals out there, I hope you check it out sometime.

Next Week: the year in music, 1996.


  1. Well the game's over. Once they neutralized Hester again & again, all that field position and an easy 6 from Special Teams threat gone, it was up to Jay, who was clearly Bad Jay today. The 1st half was an absolute abomination, and they were lucky they only gave up 14 - it could had been worse, and the Packers kept the Bears in the game by not giving the knock-out punch. That game should been over a lot sooner than the last play. The Bears coaching staff made some really boneheaded play calling and completely wasted the 3rd quarter, IMO that cost them the game.

    I'm not particularly thrilled that Green Bay won the NFC, but the unthinkable has already happened in our lifetimes. I've held my tongue pretty much completely this season, but I felt the Bears were a sham, and like in '06, Hester was a BIG part of the wins. I just never got sold on the 2010 team and never bought into the hype, and the Bears had an unbelievably lucky path to the NFC championship game - and I'm talking 1-in-a-billion luck, all things considered with the awful OL, below average WR, Lovie himself, a very questionable running game and a very, very soft schedule in a very weak NFC.

    I hope all this ridiculous talk of extending Lovie & co. is put to rest, Lovie & Jerry Angelo are given a real, serious evaluation (making the playoffs for only the 1st time in 4 years & beating the worst playoff team ever & losing in the NFCCG to your biggest rival does NOT merit job security) and hope that new coaches are considered, and somebody who actually values the draft system instead of pissing it away every year. Not only did Lovie & co. end up blowing a game they could have won Week 17 to knock Green Bay out of the playoffs, they lose them AGAIN AT HOME for the conference! Today's match-up should had NEVER happened.

    As for our baseball teams, we both have reasons to be pissed lately. When I heard Ozzie got his '12 option exercised before even playing the season, I thought "Why!?!?!?!"

  2. It's like what I said; the Bears made it this far partially because of how bad their competition was. The Cowboys were exposed in Week 2, the Skins were a soap opera, the NFC West was a joke, the Falcons just weren't clutch, and Minnesota bet the farm on a 50-year-old has-been with nothing to prove. Even The Onion pointed it out: "Jay Cutler Silences Critics By Defeating Shittiest Playoff Team Ever."

    I questioned Jay's stamina in the first half, but Caleb Hanie was not too shabby in garbage time (the game-ending pick notwithstanding). The real goats here are the coaches; their plays were so predictable, the Packers' O- and D-lines were almost always one step ahead. Worse yet, they shut down Hester with aplomb. Sadly, I can't help but assume that Lovie will milk one more year out of this mess.

  3. I am frightened as hell that Lovie will milk this season of luck to trick his employers to extending him into a contract he really doesn't deserve. 2011 strike or not (I don't think it will happen) but apparently the new 1-year contract is 2-years; 2-year is the new 3-year; etc. I've said this before and I'll say it again: the only thing Lovie inspires is mediocrity.

    And this past Bears season actually felt like the New York Yankees of football: they only got to where they were because of the money, not because of smart drafting, planning or coaching.

    The media being what it is, but Cutler will never be able to live this down; especially since he looked so ordinary on the sidelines. The media blasts it, yet it sustains their very profession, and especially since Cutler comes off as a total dick. If you were Cutler & you made all those millions, would you really care what everyone thought? I wouldn't.